Sometimes products are unsafe. From bacteria-filled food to shrapnel-shooting airbags, on occasion even the most conscientious company will find itself needing to recall a product if it turns out to be harmful to consumers. But recalls are a big pain in the butt all around. One of the biggest issues? Actually letting consumers know that the stuff in their hands or on their shelves has, in fact, actually been recalled. [More]
Holy $#!@, this lounge chair will eat your fingers! Fox5 New York has a video report on dangerously unsafe lounge chairs sold at Kmart under the Martha Stewart brand. Naturally (we’re not making this up), the chairs are designed to complement the Martha Stewart Spontaneously Shattering Glass Patio Tables also sold at Kmart.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the upcoming implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law requires that all children’s products be tested for lead and has caused a major freak out amongst librarians (who don’t really want to test their books for lead, or ban children from the library) and thrift stores (who can’t afford to test used toys for lead). Apparently, according to consumer groups that support the bill, the CPSC is supposed to be monitoring this situation and adding exceptions as needed, but has been ignoring the issue. Now those groups are asking President Obama for a change of leadership within the CPSC. Read their letter inside.
Step back from the ledge, makers of lovingly hand-carved wooden dolls: the Consumer Product Safety Commission has lurched into action and tentatively agreed to exempt some materials and items from the lead-testing requirements in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
An 11-year-old girl from Providence, R.I. recently died after falling into or jumping on a glass table. She suffered a severe puncture wound and died of uncontrollable bleeding.
Nobody is perfect, it seems, not even the folks at safety-conscious Consumer Reports. They’ve put together a group of stories from employees who managed to injure themselves with various products.
Enjoy yourselves out there this 4th, folks, but do remember to be careful with those fireworks, as seen in this edited version of the CPSC fireworks safety video set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. It’s funny when mannequins blow up. Your hands, jeans, or the desk in front of your face, not so much.
The Senate finally voted last week to send the ailing Consumer Product Safety Commission desperately needed funds, staff, and powers. The overdue reform bill passed with bipartisan support on a 79-13 vote.
If pending legislation passes, the CPSC may make retailers test their wares, and make retailers legally responsible for the products they sell. CPSC chair Nancy Nord said yesterday at a press conference, “the ultimate responsibility at the end of the day to make sure that their products are safe and if they do not, we will take enforcement activity at the product sellers.”
Several cheap waterproofing sprays—like Kenyon Water Repellent, Jobsite Heavy Duty Bootmate, Rocky Boot Weather and Stain Protector, and Stand ‘n Seal grout sealer—can cause “shortness of breath, persistent cough and in some cases long-term lung injuries,” writes the New York Times. Unfortunately, you won’t see warnings on any of these products, because the CPSC keeps ignoring state requests to do something about it.
Today the White House will announce its own plan for how to tighten the country’s slack product safety practices. The proposal is being offered as an alternative to the one Congress has come up with, which the White House—along with industry trade groups and Consumer Product Safety Commission head Nancy A. Nord—think is too mean to manufacturers.
The White House version suggests stationing inspectors in other countries to inspect goods before they are shipped to U.S. shores, because “with $2 trillion in imports annually, inspections at the ports had become ineffective.” We’re not sure how the math works on that one—unless sharks or pirates consume large amounts of imports during transit, the same number of goods leave foreign ports and arrive at ours, and having inspectors all in one place where they can work together, instead of spread out in each foreign country, seems a more efficient use of resources. But we’re probably just stupid from too much lead.
China has arrested nearly 800 people over the past two months in a “nationwide crackdown on the production and sale of tainted food, drugs and agricultural products,” writes the New York Times. The country announced the number officially today on their website, but did not provide details on the violations involved. The announcement is part of a larger campaign to not only rehabilitate China’s image around the world, but to address concerns that its domestic products are even less likely to be safe.
“Questions have been raised about the safety of these products and whether the benefits justify any potential risks from the use of these products in children, especially in children under 2 years of age,” the agency said.
- Dried pasta: 12 months